Every year, we celebrate International Women’s Day to commemorate the struggle for women’s rights, but I bet many of us do not really know how this day came about. Every March 8 is not just a day to carry placard everywhere, there is so much more to it.
Sit back and enjoy a few facts we found out about the International Women’s Day which shows that the celebration is really worth it.
The Initial Name
The International Women’s day was originally called International Working Women’s Day and it was first celebrated on February 28, 1909, in New York in remembrance of a 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.
As at that time, about 15,000 workers, including many immigrants, marched through the city’s lower east side to call for their social and political rights.
The First Celebration
The first modern International Women’s Day was held on March 8, 1914, five years after its birth. This day was chosen because it was a Sunday and many women would be able to attend as they would be away from work. This would allow them to participate in marches and other events, and has been celebrated on that date ever since.
Who Celebrates It
International Women’s Day was declared a national holiday in the Soviet Union in 1917, and was predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted by the UN in 1977. Since 1996, the UN has assigned a theme to every IWD. This year’s theme is “Be bold for change”.
The day is now an official holiday in several countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Vietnam and Zambia and for women only in countries including China, Madagascar and Nepal. I know you are wondering why not Nigeria? I am too!
What Really Happens On This Day
According to the UN, it is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political divisions. It is an avenue to reflect on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, to look ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.
For those of us that knew next to nothing about the celebration of this day, I guess we all have an idea now.
Are you a woman? Celebrate yourself. If not celebrate someone today.